There is a good chance that you are reading this article on a device that was designed and developed by one of the world’s biggest tech companies. Even if you are not, you do not have to be a gambler to make a bet that at some point in your life you have used a device, or service, that has been provided by one of these tech companies.
So, what makes this so interesting?
Well, the fact that these multitrillion dollar tech companies which have amassed such huge followings and support, in a relatively short period of time, coupled with massive annual revenue streams, actually started out just like any other company. None of these tech companies grew to be the biggest overnight through massive amounts of investment capital, that came later. Some of them began operating out of a garage at their homes.
We live in an era where technology is the fastest changing and fastest growing sector of our everyday lives. New and groundbreaking technology is developed almost on a daily basis meaning it is almost impossible to keep up with the changes. With technology changing every day and with the loyalty these brands are able to attract and retain from their users, it is no surprise that we see the enormous amount of wealth these companies can generate.
I mean imagine earning R36 000 per second or R2 100 000 per hour like Jeff Bezos does. Bezos makes more money in one second than most people make in an entire month and, sadly, more than some people make in a year. His wealth grew from $130 Billion in 2020 to $200 Billion in 2021.
Our top 5 big tech companies?
fsxxi.com have compiled a list of the 10 biggest tech companies according to market capitalization. However, we will only look at the 5 biggest tech companies before we go on to unpack a little bit of how these mammoth companies started out.
1. Apple Inc.
Market Cap: $2.169 Trillion Dollars
Annual Revenue: $274 Billion Dollars
An interesting fact about Apple is that in 2019, Apple was ranked as the most valuable company in the world, before being dethroned by Saudi Aramco.
Market Cap: $1.611 Trillion Dollars
Annual Revenue: $143 Billion Dollars
Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft employs a massive workforce, numbering 163 000 employees.
Market Cap: $1.569 Trillion Dollars
Annual Revenue: $280 Billion Dollars
Amazon is an interesting competitor as it is a hybrid company, dominating multiple industries such as e-commerce, consumer electronics, digital distribution, cloud computing and more recently, AWS which uses artificial intelligence. Now if you thought Microsoft employed a massive workforce, how about a workforce of 798 000 people. This is more than the population of some small countries.
4. Alphabet Inc.
Market Cap: $1.171 Trillion Dollars
Annual Revenue: $161 Billion Dollars
You may not know this but Alphabet Inc. is actually Google. The internet giant officially changed its name in 2015. Alphabet Inc. is the holding company of more than 30 different brands and companies and employs 130 000 people.
Market Cap: $731 Billion Dollars
Annual Revenue: $55Billion Dollars
Established in 1998 Tencent is one of the largest companies in the gaming industry. They are owners in companies like Epic, who developed the world-famous game Fortnite, and Riot, who are the developers behind the game – League of Legends.
Where and when did the biggest tech companies start?
1. Apple Inc.
Apple started in a garage. The company was founded in 1976 in California by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in a garage at Steve Jobs’ residence. In order to raise enough capital to buy components needed to finish the first orders of the Apple 1 computers, Jobs had to sell his Volkswagen van and Wozniak had to sell his Hewlett Packard 65 scientific calculator for $500.
It is interesting to see that a company that now brings in an annual revenue of $274 Billion Dollars once required its founders to sell their most valuable possessions to make ends meet.
Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. One of its most popular products, Microsoft Office, first debuted on a Macintosh, built by Apple. Microsoft Office only moved over to windows a year later.
Bill gates, the founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s wealthiest people, made his first billion dollars at the age of 31. Funny enough, in 1997 Microsoft invested $150m into Apple and today does not own a single share.
3. Amazon Inc.
Amazon was launched in 1995 by founder Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his garage. I think we are starting to see a trend here. If you want a multi-trillion-dollar company, try starting it in your garage. Amazon first started off by selling books online. However, Bezos had a bigger vision to grow what was once a small start-up into a major world-leading tech company.
Although Bezos has recently retired as Amazon CEO, it is safe to say that his legacy will be around for many years to come. Amazon was set for success from the very beginning. In the first two months of business they managed to sell books to people in every state in the USA and in over 45 different countries.
4. Alphabet Inc.
When founded, Alphabet Inc. was originally Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford in 1995. Sergey was assigned to show Larry around Stanford University and the two quickly got talking about business ideas. They initially failed to agree on most things they discussed during their first interactions and were only able to make a win/win deal a year later. Before Google got its name Google, Google was originally named Backrub.
Tencent was founded in 1998 by Pony Ma, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan and Zeng Liqing. Located in Shenzhen, China, Tencent was initially funded by venture capitalists. In 2001, South African media company Naspers purchased a 46.5% share in Tencent.
The Tencent messaging platform QQ is a vastly popular platform in the Chinese market. With a user base of over 600 million users, it is easy to see why Tencent is one of the biggest and most valuable tech companies in the world today.
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